All My Heroes Are Cornballs is the latest studio album from JPEGMAFIA, one of the biggest names in underground hip-hop right now. “Peggy” has gathered a lot of attention for his experimental production and in-your-face performances on his songs, as well as how in-touch with internet culture he is. All of these qualities were put on full display in his critically acclaimed 2018 album Veteran, filled with aggressive anti-alt-right bangers and critiques on internet culture.
Here on Cornballs, Peg expands his subject matter, mainly into dealing with his newfound fame. The first two tracks, “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot” and “Kenan Vs. Kel” showcase his conflicting feelings about fame with a harsh, aggressive vocal style contrasted by Peg’s new melodic flow, accomplished through a buttery smooth use of autotune. This will be Peg’s main innovation from his previous works.
An arguably better two-track run is “Grimy Waifu” and “PTSD”. “Grimy Waifu” is, on the surface, a song about a gun. But the meaning changes when you take into account Peggy’s military service, where he had to treat his weapon like a woman. This point is driven home in the next track “PTSD”. His delivery on this track is slightly shaky, representative of Peggy’s nerves, possibly from his time in combat or from the self-doubt he’s feeling since his rise to fame.
“Rap Grow Old & Die x No Child Left Behind” is one of the best examples of Peggy’s matured lyricism on this album. Here he waxes on the cycle of fame, from aching to get more recognition to receiving hate from fans when you get it.
The title track is tracks on this album sonically. JPEG’s singing is on point and again, he discusses his fame but also the absurdity of looking up to the people who have it. JPEG frames this as corny, hence, the title of the song.
But after this song I feel like the album begins to get somewhat inconsistent. “BBW” is an incredible but brief track. “PRONE!” is a seriously hard-hitting track with some great one-liners, but it does feel a little off-theme. “Free The Frail” is fantastic, and the closest thing this album has to an emotional climax. It’s an outpouring of feelings on his public persona and the vulnerability of his fame. But the “interlude” “Life’s Hard, Here’s A Song About Sorrel” and the three-track stretch from “BasicB*tchTearGas” and “BUTTERMILK JESUS TYPE BEAT” both feel very redundant, and make this album feel a bit bloated.
But let’s go back to the title track. The closer of the song is literally a recording of a guy ordering Wendy’s. According to Peggy, it was a random inclusion. That’s one thing that makes this album so hard to pin down and judge. Those tracks that feel like filler could be an intentional move by Peggy. Why he did this is up to interpretation, but one possible explanation is that it’s a dig at how bloated many modern mainstream rap albums are. This, Peggy’s sometimes repetitive lyrics, and his emotionally downbeat tone throughout the album can be looked at as genius or lazy depending on how you look at it. It’s hard to tell what on this project is intentional and what’s not. And that’s a good thing. JPEGMAFIA is an enigma, and his sound on this album is appropriately wacked-out and wholly unique. As expected, the production on this album is industrial and experimental, but it’s gorgeous. And I don’t think anybody ever expected to say that Peggy’s singing on is incredible, and he’s managed to create some earworm melodies. JPEGMAFIA will not be pigeonholed into his old persona, which he gives a nod to on the outro track “Papi, I Missed You”. He’s evolved his sound and offered a new artistic statement that is entirely his own.
- Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot
- Grimy Waifu
- All My Heroes Are Cornballs
- Free The Frail
- Rap Grow Old & Die x No Child Left Behind
- Post Verified Lifestyle
- Papi, I Missed You
- Kenan Vs. Kel
- Thot Tactics
- DOTS FREESTYLE REMIX
- Beta Male Strategies
- JPEGMAFIA TYPE BEAT
- Life’s Hard, Here’s A Song About Sorrel
- BUTTERMILK JESUS TYPE BEAT